Friday, August 29, 2008

Raspberry season

Raspberry time. It's one of the things we children clung to when we visited our grandparents in central Wisconsin. August is a horribly humid time to visit, but raspberries were one perk to our late-season travel.

My Grandma Johnson's garden plot seem to stretch forever, and tucked close to the neighbor's trees were a long row of raspberry plants. When we played outside, we'd occasionally check the plants, disappointed if the berries were still white and unripe. Each August, we'd wonder that maybe we'd be able to help her pick the berries this time.

On our weeklong summer visits, if we were lucky, Grandma would trot out small bowls of the bright red berries for dessert, apologizing if she'd forgotten and put sugar on the berries for my mother, who's diabetic.

And, sometimes, we were treated to her legendary Raspberry Dessert. It's such a treasured recipe that when we compiled a family cookbook a few Christmases ago, several of my cousins requested that someone hunt that recipe down.

Each summer, I wait patiently for raspberry season, hoping to score some at the local farmers market (not that they'd last longer than a day). And once again, I've missed it. While wondering this weekend when I might actually see raspberries at a local market, I looked online and learned I'd already missed peak season.

For those of you still fortunate to have raspberries in season, I share with you a family favorite, my Grandma Johnson's Raspberry Dessert. Enjoy!

Raspberry Dessert

1/2 cup margarine
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cups flour

Mix until crumbly. Pat into 9 x 12-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until light brown.

While baking, make topping:
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch

Cook until clear in saucepan. After it is clear, remove from heat and add 1 small box raspberry Jello. Cool.

On crust, spread 1 quart fresh or frozen berries. Pour Jello mixture over berries. Refrigerate until set and top with whipped topping.

No comments: